There are now many safe ways to travel along Highway 16 thanks to a government program in northern B.C.
The government of B.C. announced today (Jan. 10) that 12 community services are now running along the highway, after the final service was launched in December 2018.
"This service is especially important for women and teenage girls, who have not had a safe way to get around," Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure says in a press release. "I am very happy to see that all of the community vehicles are now providing this vital transportation connection for remote and Indigenous communities in the North. This is a service these communities fought hard for, and now we can see the positive results."
According to the government release, these services will provide "2,500 rides per month to people who live and work in the North."
The government announced in the spring of 2017 that 12 communities would be receiving grants so they could buy community vehicles along with three years of operational support. The grants were primarily for Indigenous communities and organizations and helped with the purchase of a community vehicle such as a van, mini-van, SUV or bus.
The expansion of inter-community B.C. Transit services along Highway 16 from Terrace to Prince George includes four new routes implemented in collaboration with local and regional governments.
It was announced Burns Lake, Prince George, and Smithers would receive funding for community bus transport service back in 2017.
The expanded transit service included to multi-year funding commitments from Prince George, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof, Smithers, Telkwa, Fraser Lake, Fort St. James, Granisle and Houston.